Tornado response in the United States
After May’s devastating tornados ripped through north Texas and central Oklahoma, Habitat deployed three mobile response units to the affected areas to assist with clean-up, repair and rebuilding efforts. In Granbury, Texas, up to 120 homes were damaged or destroyed in a neighborhood that included 60 Habitat houses. Fifty-seven of the 60 homes were either damaged or destroyed. We have a goal of raising $5 million to help repair and rebuild. Learn more under “Highlighted Programs” at habitat.org/disaster.

 

Hope for a better life in Zambia
Statistics indicate that 60 percent of Zambians are in urgent need of shelter and live in less than adequate circumstances. Habitat Zambia’s second weeklong Women Build event in March — launched by Dr. Christine Kaseba-Sata, the country’s first lady — increased awareness of this housing need and offered a call to action to help create simple, decent and affordable homes. Eighty volunteers joined four families for the build.

Disaster response resources in Great Britain
Habitat Great Britain has begun a partnership with University College London to investigate post-disaster challenges in urban housing. The initiative will result in guidelines and tools for program managers that can be used to help communities rebuild.

Building dreams in Paraguay
Habitat Paraguay held a construction rally this spring in the community of Kurusu Ñuati, Luque. The event was called “3,000 houses, we want more!” Construction lasted a week, and more than 100 volunteers from national and international schools and from the U.S. Embassy celebrated the completion of new homes with six families, including Rossana Gonzales. Says the new homeowner: “If you dream hard enough, your dreams will
come true.”

Light and livelihood in Japan
The first solar panel in Habitat Japan’s pilot “Solar Home Recovery Project” was fitted to the roof of the Hazawa family house in late May. In the wake of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the Ofunato residents were left with a damaged home and no livelihood. The solar panel will help the family save on utility costs and generate income by selling excess electricity to their regional utility provider. Habitat is the first nonprofit organization in Japan to offer this opportunity to individual households.